The Ocoee River area is a mix of world-class whitewater, mountain biking and hiking trail systems, environmental education programs, beautiful campgrounds and scenic byways. A wonder of Mother Nature, located in southeast Tennessee, was discovered by accident.
Originally owned by the Eastern Tennessee Power Company, the Ocoee River was dammed to build hydroelectric plants. Built back in 1910-1913, the river dams (Ocoee #1 and Ocoee #2) along with the famous wooden flume line diverted the water from the upper river into an elevated water path concentrating water pressure for the hydroelectric powerhouses. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) purchased the power system in 1939.
In September 1976, the flume line (water trough) broke allowing water to spill into the riverbed and whitewater enthusiasts took note. Rafters lobbied TVA for the rights to use the Ocoee River and its thrilling whitewater. After much opposition, TVA relented, alongside an act of Congress and scheduled water releases became a reality. Commercial whitewater rafting had become a reality in southeast Tennessee.
The Ocoee River is now home to 250,000 commercial and private boaters. Visitors to the area come from all over the U.S. as well as a large volume of international guests. They come to enjoy the river, hike/bike the Cherokee National Forest, stay overnight in a campground or quaint cabin and take great memories home with them until their next visit to the Ocoee Region.